4th (V) Parachute Batallion, Parachute Regiment

Cap badge of the IVth batallion

The history of the Company's affiliations with units of our Armed Forces in modern times dates from 1957 when a connection was established with the 10th (V), City of London Batallion, The Parachute Regiment who were then based in the City. This connection flourished until the Strategic Defence Review of 1999 saw the 10th amalgamated with the 4th Batallion, who however retain a City presence with their 10th company.

The Parachute Regiment was formed in the early part of WWII and has since served with distinction in a number of theatres. Amongst many actions in WWII was that of the 10th Battalion in seizing the bridge at Arnhem in September 1944 as the northernmost element of Operation 'Market Garden'. The attack was initially successful despite many setbacks. A german counter-attack reclaimed the bridge and forced the batallion to retreat to Oosterbeek where they were eventually overcome. The event is commemorated in September of each year at memorials in Arnhem and Oosterbeek with, most poignantly, children from the local school playing a crucial role in keeping alive the memory of those who fell. It is a great honour for the Prime Warden and Clerk to attend the commemorations in Holland each year as guests of the batallion.

In modern times, the Paras are the Army's Airborne Infantry who can be called upon at a moments notice to deploy anywhere in the world, whether it be by parachute, helicopter, sea or land. Operating as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade their main job is to hit the enemy hard and fast, seizing airfields or bridges and knocking out weapon systems before the heavier main force arrives. The 4th Battalion routinely reinforces the Regular Parachute Battalions and has made a substantial contribution to operations undertaken by the army in recent years.

As is expected training with 4 PARA is extremely varied and conducted in various parts of the world. Selection for the Battalion follows a similar line to that of the Regular Parachute Regiment Recruit - Above average fitness is required, as is a sense of humour. Training with 4 PARA culminates with the Combat Infantryman's Course and then the gruelling Pre-Parachute Selection (P-Coy) course. This is a series of events designed to test a soldier's physical fitness, determination and mental robustness under conditions of stress. There's much more to learn about 4 Para's activities on their website at www.4para.co.uk

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